tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN December 26, 2013 1:30pm-3:31pm EST
perceptions about iraq and the shift inside of iraq which i think is, remains a huge challenge and it's, obviously, connected -- to syria. and i think when they saw the u.s. administration in september in particular walk away from what they thought would be even targeted, limited strikes, you know, they were already in a process of trying to place bets on a number of different actors. and now based on my most recent trip to eastern turkey, they and others are all in. and it's, i think, presenting a very -- >> with regard to syria, you mean. >> yeah. and with some very dangerous groups perhaps. and perhaps less so saudi arabia than other gcc states. but i think by 2014, it's already coming out in the press, but i think even in this administration that perhaps the threats in northern syria are starting to rival some of the other security threats that the united states faces in the middle east. >> i'm just, i'm sitting here trying to think of whether i agree that they're punching below their weight.
i don't know. and the reason i'm thinking, you know, the comparison that would make that point best is saudi arabia, qatar, right? i mean, qatar's a very interesting place in the sense that it has no citizens, right? i think it's about 275,000 now, everybody else is an ex-pat. all there is is money, and there has been extremely effective use of that money and qatari diplomacy. and if you compare sort of the last ten years of diplomacy, al-jazeera, qatari use of money with the saudis, you would absolutely conclude they punch below their weight. but if you compare to iran, you know, iran has roughly three times the population of saudi arabia, and the percentage of the population that is in a sense involved in the life of the country, that is, for example, has a decent education, are professionals, women who are active in some way in the
economy, iran is a much more, much more modern country than saudi arabia. and it isn't surprising in a way that the saudis would have a very hard time taking on a country with three times the population and that is much more modern. sort of striking thing to say about the ayatollah's iran. but i think it's true. so i wonder if really if you look at the country even with its wealth, the amazing achievement maybe one could say is the qataris. but if you take them out of the equation, i don't know if saudi arabia's really punching below its weight. in the days when it was punching way above its weight, that was when it was spending all this money to spread extremist ideology around the world. >> yeah, yeah. >> so that you had wahhabi imams in wahhabi mosques in wahhabi schools growing up in
indonesia -- >> still have it. >> yeah. so that was not a good thing. >> yeah. no, and i'm not, i'm not casting a judgment value on it. i'm just saying in terms of, again, and i think the point of the article was that if you measure, if you had those resources and you were in saudi arabia and you shared those goals -- >> would you do better? >> yeah. then you certainly could do better. again, i'm saying that -- i'm not saying that would be good for u.s. interests, certainly. i'm just trying to clinically analyze it which i think is important to try to do in the region right now. i mean, i think, you know, an important point, last thing i'd say here is that i think especially since 2011, but i think it preceded this, the region had slipped into this multidimensional, multipolar competition for power. you just talked ability saudi arabia -- about saudi arabia versus qatar, that's just one feature of it. and you look at sort of turkey's role and its purported role and how it, i think, in many ways did not punch above its weight and quite below, we're in a
period of transformation that it's not simply who's backing whom's military forces or armed forces, it's the use of media. it's using money in the way that we saw in egypt after morsi's ouster and the coup, quite visibly staking a bet on disturb and if there's an overall trend in the middle east, i think it's true, those countries that are a little bit less economic strong, you know, they lack the wealth but also divided politically are quite often sort of the, these mini cold wars of the region are played out in places like yemen. lebanon, we've known this for years. but it continues to go on. and syria, i think, right now is the most dangerous place. >> let's talk about syria for a second. i guess in some ways looking at it, trying to look at it from the saudi perspective, what's the real issue? is it just that the united states appears to want to rebalance the region? as the former national security adviser, tom donilon, said basically rebalancing the saudis
and the iranians off of each other, or do the saudis have a case. wait a second, our problem is not being rebalanced, our problem is with the islamic republic of iran. that's the issue. and i guess in some ways i think syria might be more accurate picture of what's happening around the region. like what the iranians are fighting for and how the iranians are fighting. so, yeah, if i could just get your thoughts on syria first. >> well, from the saudi point of view, i think, it's pit clear, king abdullah used the phrase shia crescent. from the saudi point of view, you americans handed them iraq -- this is a quote that brian read, and they still have that view -- and you're not doing anything about his what in lebanon. -- hezbollah in lebanon. now you've got hezbollah troops and expeditionary forces in syria fighting. this is a matter of the shia becoming the dominant force in the be region, and what are you
americans doing about it? nothing. you don't even recognize it. and all you want to do is negotiate with them. i think that's the fundamental saudi view. they're fighting to win, and you guys don't even seem to recognize that this is a fight with the shia. and that is not the american view. >> if they were to really put it that baldly, i mean, it's not like -- the problem, it's not the shia, it's they're a revolutionary regime, or that they're really that up front about saying -- >> only in private. no, i think, i think the, i think -- these are not the speeches officials make, but but i think in addition to the problem of the saudis of iran, you know, there is a deep religious conflict here. rivalry, i was going to say, but i think conflict maybe nowadays a better word. and there we have, obviously, an american/saudi gap.
our problem is with the islamic republic, our problem is not with shia or persians. >> yeah. well, i would say on the syria case, i mean, again, another example in my view of how saudi arabia has a stated goal. they would like to see assad go. it's actually an a-- in alignment with u.s. policy. i happen to believe that u.s. policy actually is not in alignment with that stated goal. i think that's an obvious point. [laughter] if you look at 2013, any serious sort of neutral analyst will say this has been a very good year for the assad rediswreej in term -- regime in terms of its ability to stay in power. a horrible year, a horrific year for the syrian people and even for many people who are part of sort of the -- who were sympathetic to the assad regime, because the conflict continues. but in terms of the state of play especially since the spring, the wind is a little bit more at the assad regime's sails. so i would, again, go back to
what the stated saudi ambition withs are and what i've seen on the ground and heard from the analysts that i think are credible and go in and out of northern syria and other places is the absence of any strategy to advance their goal. and maybe it is -- >> the saudis. >> yeah, the saudi strategy. i mean, it's quite similar tot u.s., but i think you get it this terms of not only the obama administration's posture, but much of sort of republican and democrats in congress, this reticence to go into -- so, in fact, you can evaluate it and just say we don't have a strategy that will meet our goals. but the saudis are doing things. they're doing things in ways that actually, i think, won't -- maybe not -- topple the assad regime, but almost certainly is creating this security problem that could quite rival if not already the challenges we've seen in yemen or in northwest pakistan and other places. and that's what i think is the thing that everybody's starting to become aware of, but i fear in 2014 the situation could slip pretty rapidly. >> why? why do you think?
>> well, look, in some of the recent visits i've had there and it's out there in the press and brookings has a really good, you know, monograph out yesterday talking about gcc private support to some of these militant groups, the recent sort of trends with madrisse leaving, this is not an encouraging sign. you can criticize u.s. policy, and i'm happy to do that because i think there's a gap between the stated goals and what the actual policy is doing on the ground. but i think that gap is even greater given saudis' sort of stated self-interest. and as elliott described it, they're not being terribly effective, i think, with undermining the regime. >> i agree with that. pardon me. i think if i were a saudi can spokesman -- saudi spokesman, what i would say to you is, right, but that's the fault of of the americans. >> right. >> you know, you guys have had a
feckless policy from the beginning, what can we do? the iranians are? there to win. we're trying to fight. we're doing what we can with help from some others in the region. very hard to do with you americans on the sideline. but we've kept assad there winning. we've -- from winning. we've kept the rewell onalive. now -- rebellion alive. now, it's true let's call them the non-jihadi elements of the opposition are declining versus the jihadi elements, and that's fault, you americans. and you come in with us in the beginning, we wouldn't have had this power vacuum that has led this to be a magnet for jihadis from all over the world. we're not prepared to see assad win, because that means that hezbollah and iran have won in an arab country. we're not prepared to see that. you handed them iraq. but iraq, after all, at least in the sense as a majority shia country.
this is a country that's 74% sunni. we're not prepared to see the shia take it over, and you're not helping. >> uh-huh. >> i think it's, actually, a very powerful argument. >> well, i'll ask you both, i mean, at what point do the saudis have a real point when they differ with american policy, and at what point is it just when brian challenged the title of the panel, alliance, no, i think it makes sense. it's not alicense in that way -- alliance in that way. it's relationship, right? and it seems to be in lots of ways a problematic relationship insofar as elliott was describing it, a lot does have to do with oil or security. and historically it's been a lot of times the saudis are screaming at the americans from the side do this, do that. and as elliott was saying about bandar and bush, it's best to lead them, guide them, influence them. but at what point when the saudis are saying, as elliott was describing, at what point are they right?
it's either we need you as the superpower leading, or you're wrong on syria, you're wrong only iran. so how do we distinguish the noise from when they're correct? >> look, i mean, you could argue -- and be they would certainly argue -- they're already right in this regard. and i would just respond in terms of, again, back to u.s. strategic interests and how, again, having a clear plan of then how does this end and where does this go. can -- if you wanted to go into an all-in strategy in the way that, again, i don't think -- it won't happen. i almost, can almost say for surgeon just based on my own assessment. from the u.s. side. >> yeah. >> look, you look at sort of the fallout from what would have been a failed vote in congress, i think, on very limited strikes. so selling this case to the american public will require a fundamental change in something that happens on the ground of, if not on the order of 9/11, but something sort of -- >> the the administration will also have to, the president has
been undermining the policy of doing anything more active in syria for two and a half years. >> right. >> so they're going to have to change as well. >> yeah, yeah. what i'm suggesting here is i don't think they'll have that wake-up call unless there's something seen to directly affect the u.s. interest, something like the teetering and collapse of jordan, which is one of our closest and steadfast partners, if not allies. something on that order will require -- and, again, it's the administration primarily, but i would say also the united states to wake up, to say, look, the muddle east after 10 or 12 years, and i testified in congress at the end of september, early october on an issue related to the middle east. and i got it from both sides saying why should we care? and for those of us who care about the region, i think what we need to do is outline what is a practical case, and when it comes to syria, i think a practical case for engagement if i were advising the administration in a clear way on syria, it would be, you know --
and i think they're doing in the to some extent -- assess what these actors are doing right now, saudi arabia, qatar, kuwait and others. we've got a london 11 group. i would focus a little bit more on the ground game and who's doing what on the ground. a lot of the emphasis is on geneva ii, and that's going to convene. god bless them. to me, diplomacy does not have much of a chance of impact unless it's linked to power dynamics or not ground. and to me, and i've written a little bit about this, fine for secretary can kerry to talk with lavrov a lot, what's missing is a regional contact group. elliott may be skeptical of this, but the bush administration when iraq was at its darkest moment took part in regional diplomacy conferences. i think turkey took the lead on it. and, again, maybe it didn't do much practically, but perhaps it was one of those pieces in addition to a military surge that led to a more pragmatic
dialogue of how do you actually, you know, at least get to an end to some of the worst behaviors that are leading to the fragmentation of syria. if that makes sense. there's no regional strategy, as far as i can tell, to shape the actors who are now engaged in syria. >> where i'm in complete agreement is things have got to go bottom up, not top down. if you can negotiate a deal that doesn't reflect the reality on the ground, if you want a deal, you've also got to change reality on the ground. >> yes. >> we're not doing that. >> i'm thinking the more and more i hear you speak, brian, even though you distinguished yourself from elliott and me and the hudson institute, we're agreeing on a number of things here. i hope you're not getting uncomfortable. >> well, no. the point where i might disagree if we carried it through in terms of specificity policy because i think it's easy enough to say, okay, here's what you would do to change the balance of power on the ground, but as i think people like secretary kerry might tell you, when they
made a modest decision in the spring of this year to arm some parts of the rebels, i think there was a delay in doing that, and there's still a slowness in it. and part of it was a low appetite amongst those in congress. i mean, i'm not blaming them, but there's just no appetite overall. if post-9/11 -- and i think heading into the iraq war -- there was, and, you know, a great appetite and power to actually shape what the u.s. could do in this part of the world. unfortunately, i fear it was squandered. and i think it's continued, my personal view, to be squandered in part because we believe sort of the, you know, we made some mistakes certainly. i've criticized the previous administration. but hen we believe we can't -- then we believe we can't do anything, and collectively, what i'm saying, not just in the mind of president obama or others, but across the political spectrum there's very little we can do. and that's what worries me the most as somebody who hopes to continue to work on this for the next 20 or 30 years, there's
this sense of we don't have power to do anything which we talk quite a lot about on egypt, i think, the u.s. policy on egypt evinces this. it clearly demonstrates they think they don't have much influence, and i think it becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy at some point. >> i would just add one point about -- i don't know if this is the saudis punching under their weight or if it's just a fact of life and they don't have the weight. but they are very much opposed to u.s. policy, very critical of u.s. policy to. but they're completely unable to do anything about it. it's striking. i mean, that is they don't have the influence within the administration, and they certainly don't have the influence in the u.s. with the public. they can't move public opinion. now, maybe that's asking too much of a foreign government, although at times the british have been able to do it, at times the israelis maybe have been able to do it. the saudis, though they spend a ton of money on pr firms in
washington, can't do it. so they're left kind of fuming ineffectively but haven't moved the needle. >> yeah. one of the interesting things i did want to come to this is when people have been saying if the americans are out of the picture or if that seems that way to the saudis, the saudis will look for other options. and we keep hearing about, again, i'm not sure exactly what that looks like, but one things we have heard about is excellent coordination, secret but excellent coordination between the israelis and the saudis. and one of the things that struck me over the last couple week, the criticism of the interim deal with iran as many people are, many of the people including myself used to writing critical, critical apprisals of this administration will not just write and it's not good for our allies in israel, but it's also not good for our allies in saudi arabia. so to yoke these two with things
together, this is kind of different. so in some ways i think the saudis might be benefiting from the fact that they and the israelis are in line at least on, at least on iran policy. >> but i would suggest, you know, some have suggested this could then more expansively, you know, lead to something else, and i think there are just inherent limits to whatever tactical cooperation there could be on iran. i think the biggest issue for the saudis, again, will be the arab/israeli conflict, the israeli/palestinian conflict that if you look at those statements back in 2002, 2003, and your administration was on the receiving end of that, it's still an important core issue. now, again, the other place i might push back here a little bit is that i think that when people talk about the u.s. not being present in the region and we're less of a force, i think that's highly inaccurate. if you go, as i did this fall, and you see what our footprint is like in the gcc states, if you read secretary hagel's speech in bahrain -- and we can
all have problems with how he said that and what he said -- it's quite clear that there's no other military force that will rival. and if you look at the planning of the pentagon even at a time of budget cuts, they're -- i see no sign of retreat of u.s. in the region. separately, and and maybe this is the way to segway into iran, also on the interim deal there's been a lot of talk about a major shift here as well potentially. the u.s. and tom donilon hinted at this. i would say this is probably more modest than has been portrayed when you look at not only the fact that the security threats that iran presents to u.s. core strategic interests, their support for terrorist groups and other things, the fact that we've been there for decades in the region i don't actually see us retreating in any way. if we were going to do that, we might have done that in bahrain or other places if we really wanted to make that a clear issue. but even if, and i was talking to people in the administration dealing with the sanctions on
iran, they made an interesting point, said even if on the slim chance that we can get to a final agreement -- and i don't think there's any peeve today about that -- the set of sanctions that'll still remain in place because of iran's ballistic missiles program, its support for terror organizations, this is a country we have significant problem with. and i think just from a cool calculus i don't think, again, i think it's portrayed differently in the media debate about the interim agreement. but i don't think this yet represents anything but sort of an attempt at diplomacy that may not succeed ultimately. >> and what is the purpose of the interim agreement? we spoke about it before. >> you know, i think if you go back to 2009, the president comes to office wishing to engage with a theory that, you know, or a large part of the problem with countries like syria and iran was the bush administration. was bush policy.
and now we will engage. and that he could not do because of the events in iran in june 2009, the uprising, the way it was crushed. you couldn't then engage with the government of iran. and remember, the engagement is not with iran, it's not with the people of iran. the engagement is with the regime in iran as it was with the assad regime. okay. so in 2009 you can't do that. flash forward, now it looks as if there's a possibility. after all, there is for the first time official engagement, there are foreign minister to secretary of state negotiations. so i, you know, as i look at it i think people in the region who are scared of this and say, uh-oh, we have, we have lived in a world where there's an iranian-american confrontation. and if the americans no longer want that confrontation, believe they can end it almost single-handedly, believe that iran has changed enough so that there needn't be be a
confrontational attitude, they're going to get scared. and, in fact, they are scared. because from their point of view, you know, look, the israelis are concerned about one thing which is nukes. but for the saudis, emirates, bahrainis and others, that's just one issue. and it may not even be the top issue. there's terrorism, there's subversion, there is the each province of saudi arabia, there is the shia majority bahrain, there's the old desire for hegemony over what is either the persian gulf or the arabian gulf. so i can understand why even in the context of having an agreement with israel or let's say -- not an agreement, common interests about the iranian nuclear program, they see that the united states, europeans, israel have a very different or perhaps have a very different fundamental position with respect to -- >> well, this is, i was going to say this is why i think syria's an important test case in many ways. because when people talk about the iranians, it's not an
expansive power, they never really fight themselves. i think if you were talking to the saudis, i think if you were talking to the emirates and kuwaitis, they'd say, you know, we've had problems with them here at home, but if you need more evidence, look at what they've done in syria. as you said before, it's an expeditionary force. and no matter what happens to assad, it seems that the iranians stand to profit in the meantime. so saudi concerns there are certainly, certainly make sense. >> and i think they would echo those concerns about iraq. i mean, we've made this point before. but, again, i think it's an important one to make is that a lot of -- we didn't cause sort of the cay -- chaos in the region, but our actions do have an impact. and i think the shift from a strategic paradigm of dual con taintment of both iran and iraq which was probably not a good long-term, sustainable strategy in and of itself, but it had consequencings. and it had consequences when you talk to people in saudi arabia,
in the iraq. i saw prime minister maliki when he was of here on his visit, and what i'm suggesting is that the whole sort of region is in this period of competition for influence. it's changing. i think it often is thrown in these labels of shia versus signny, and i think -- sunni, and i think it's accurate to some extent, but i think the fracturing inside of the middle east because of the sunni access, so to speak, and we debated this as well, is itself fractured. and i think when i go to places where our most reliable partners and allies like israel or jordan, when they look at the regional conception and the israelis say this quite a lot is that we used to fear arab strength and coherence. now what we fear is weakness. and really, and i think -- again, this paints a muddled picture, but i think that's what it is, it is a muddled picture in the id middle east. ask for me, who's someone who's often critical of the lack of a u.s. strategy as an honest analyst from the outside, it's easier for me to sort of sit
there and write papers. but then when you're trying to deal with these competing interests and values, it's easier said than tone. >> let me ask you both done if it's okay because i do want to open up for some questions, but let me ask you, brian, since you've mentioned this a few times what would -- if you think that the strategic, strategic vision has fallen apart or it's muddled, what do you think is a clear and farsighted strategic us have in the middle east, and what dole does saudi arabia play for -- what role does saudi arabia play for the reasonable future? i mean, i'll just leave it at that, what role do the saudis play in a clearsighted, you know, american strategy? >> i would say if we're talking long term, i would start with it depends on what kind of saudi arabia we're talking about. and the issues that we've dwhrieded over and not talked about much, but the shaping of saudi future and things like this. to me, the most reliable partners for the united states in the middle east are countries like israel and then i think
jordan has its own challenges with political inclusion and economic development. but you want societies that have a fabric of more incluesivity and openness. and, you know, people like to malign the freedom agenda. before the freedom agenda was a gleam in george w. bush's eye, i was in the middle east working on democratic promotion, and i fundamentally believe that. i think one thing is how do you elevate that pragmatically in our interests recognizing that we're not the ones that are going to steer the change, but it's going to be part of the dialogue. i know with u.s./saudi arabia, there was a strategic dialogue at the bush administration, and there was at least nominally a working group on human rights and democracy. i don't know if it did anything. >> it made us feel better. >> yeah, yeah. [laughter] so more crisply. i mean, i think what strikes me, and this is, i think, a problem that cuts across many administrations is quite often we stovepipe sort of our interests and our values. and when you go, and the discussion you have in centcom or our military our intelligence
agencies is quite different than what some people in the state department. and maybe i'm unrealistic. but i think there could be a much more practical blending of these issues. the one point i would just say is in this mix in the middle east, to me the fundamental that seems to be undergirding all of this is that these societies are at the start of the change in transformation. and being more adept at trying to guide that. and when i look at how flaccid and weak the state department's structures are, when you look at the dovel partnership and the g8 and you measure that up against what these other states have done in places like egypt. so i think the main point would be what could we do in terms of the lessons learned, there's been a lot of ad hominem creatisms of the bush administration, but what are the lessons learned of promoting democracy and reform while also being prague pragmatic, while ao attending to our day-to-day interests. and i think that's easier said than done, but i don't know if elliott has a reaction to that jenin sight.
>> your, you know, you could rephrase that insight. what would herman khan say if he were here today here at hudson? i think it depends partly you're looking at 10 years, 50 years. if we're talking let's say 10, 20, 25 years, a period in which american dependence on middle eastern oil will decline, decline, decline, decline, i agree, first of all, that one of the key variables here is, well, tell me what's going on in those societies. we didn't predict the turmoil in so many arab countries that we've seen since 2011. what will saudi arabia be like five, ten years from now? will it be a generally calm society? will it be with a revolutionary society? will it -- i think, you know, some of the issues the saudis face are the internal issues that, as brian said, we haven't talked very much about.
issues like the mismatch between the educational system and the needs of the coming decades of? the other 1i would throw in is it's the islamic republic. that is the security issue in the region. someday i believe the islamic republic will fall and the people of iran will get what they want which is a decent, just, space society. it may take five years or 35 years. who knows? until that day comes it seems the strategy of the united states has to be to be the main bulwark against the extremism, the subversion, the terrorism, the aggression of the islamic republic because our friends in the region can't do it without us and i think this administration has at best and on clear policy in this respect which has made all of our friends nervous and this is where i might -- i will just read a little bit because again i think there is more continuity in that policy.
if you look at the policy since 1979 and the containment of the islamic revolution, one fundamental has been containing the influence. under the bush administration and the last few years in particular there was a different strategy that began and continued to contain and camp up the containment through the global economic sanctions while also engaging in the p5 plus one. that is the paradigm in terms of testing the possibilities are but i think the overall architecture both of the security posture and the intelligence agency through iran, that hasn't fundamentally changed. and i think that we are -- that is where we will probably disagree a little bit because i think people over read the diplomatic engagements and these attempts at diplomacy. to me the fundamental architecture is quite consistent. where it all goes is a big question and the second part i would raise up is the whole issue of containment, the
bargains are not alliances the partnerships that we dealt with some of these actors like saudi arabia as the subject of the talk is the thing that we should question what were the costs and what were the benefits of that strategically in this tactically the issue of this long-term how these societies treat their own people and a sense of decency and standards is terribly important now for the region itself because the understand that for themselves that they cannot turn back this tide. so again all of the criticisms of the attempt of the reform in the region, and what i think my main criticism is that too much of it became a larger rise or securitized in the u.s. standpoint. our engagement in the region post of iraq and the analysis has been that, but there has been under analysis of what can beat them in their economic and diplomacy to actually foster better change and maybe we just want to give up and go home, but
i think that you know, the downside to this paradigm of containing is that they are built on sand and and bottles themselves the light of c sustaining themselves over the long term. >> let us disagree on the one point of office. we have an extraordinary event of iran plotting to blow up the saudi ambassador in georgetown and the american reaction to that was nothing. that's continuity. if they had been killing americans and plotting to kill americans for decades under several presidents of both parties and the reaction almost is nothing, we have seen it in afghanistan and iraq in beirut in saudi arabia and we never actually replied. so that is from my point of view unfortunately that proves your point. the have paid almost no price in the administration, which
unfortunately i think emboldens them at least you would like to think there is a debate in tehran about what it was why is to try to blow up a restaurant in georgetown. some people say are you crazy it is an act of war and others say they won't say anything. and unfortunately, they were right or there may not have been any debate at all and that is a pretty good idea. i believe that we have a microphone and i would like to ask you to wait until the microphone arrives and then introduce yourself and try to keep it brief so that we can get an answer. >> one variable that none of you talked about is the economic impact of the relationship with saudi arabia and as you look at
the relationship and quantify. we benefit from job creation by selling on the goods and services by having over 30,000 americans in saudi arabia, and it's quite substantial. now on the question of whether the saudis think we were in la and no one will change the status quo in syria but they know that we are there and they need us. finally, you mentioned the fact there is no close coordination when you talk to the saudis they talked to boesh 41 and tells you we had a great relationship. we didn't always agree, that they consulted with us. we were aware of what is going on and now for example, they will tell you about about the
negotiations and the prince had multiple and said we should be included in the negotiations about the nuclear weapons. >> can you phrase the question now of -- okay. >> look, to respond i think quite obviously the linkages we didn't explore between the u.s. and set the arabia but they are finally and important. it's we often think about the middle east just sort of saudi arabia and its relationship north and west what struck me on the visit to the region the growing linkages with china and the whole gulf and saudi arabia the fact that remittances have looked at the indian and pakistan, those linkages are quite important as well and we often have that stovepiped discussion about sort of our policies. but they view this as very
important. and i don't -- i agree with the rest of your comments and sympathize with them and i don't know if you have any of their reactions to them. >> hello. all the way in the back. >> does that microphone work okay for? it's giving me a little trouble. the gentleman in the audience was signaling trouble. >> up the hudson institute i want to thank everyone for the discussion and also for the accommodation of the current trends. i guess my question is for brian katulis. esters and the dissatisfaction and seems to me with the syria policy at the moment. but the president has now said that syria is someone else's civil war so i wonder why you think it is the argument for someone else would be persuasive
within the administration or for that matter to the american public. it would seem to me any way that the argument would be it's not merely a civil war or not serious, but it's a regional civil war and that we have a concern about that. they suggested that side is winning. so that would be it seems to me the issue that would have to be raised but i wonder how you make that argument when we are also increasing iran at the same time. >> i agree. i think that i would add to the fact the spillover that you are seeing in the security threats in lebanon and turkey it seems fairly contained, but then in iraq the regional implications are rolling out as we speak. i think that probably the thing
that would only move and here i'm talking about the american public i see the political leaders from president obama and then especially the members of congress they are reactive in a sense especially after ten years of life think again was seen as like, you know, that engagement on the part of the u.s. yes we made mistakes but that engagement had we stuck with it in some ways it would have a lasting impact. i think the only thing that what really sort of be a wake-up call unfortunately would be to make a major terrorist defense, not like what we saw with turkey that something emanating and i guess what i'm suggesting is that it isn't inconceivable but this happens. in a way that i think the attempted jetliner bombing in september of 29 christmas day was a wake-up call about aqap, my fear that something similar happens to this because that
provoked a response in the administration and people can agree or disagree that it was a brittle response and was effective. >> and have me a little concerned c-span viewers might take matters into their own hands. it's not a recommendation. >> is a worry when you look at the news accounts of who is showing up and the tide of weapons that they have and the backing they might have. right now it seems focus on their regime. that i think is less so than the regional argument to and i think the regional argument flies over the head of many congressmen but the american public even especially those who served in some of these places in iraq. people are just in a quote oculist in what did we actually achieve was the juice with the squeeze and i think that is unfortunate and i'm not calling for a but i fear that that is
what will produce a wake-up call given that we are going into a midterm election and that we are so internally focused and given the hyper dysfunction that we see in the political system. >> i agree that in the converse and, you know, from the public there was a remarkable support i think that had the president done it and then gone on tv and did one of these last night and said to the american people we do not want to be to our children a world in which chemical weapons are back. chemical weapons are used and part of the everyday arsenal. we cannot allow that and survive on the following. it's over. it happened last night. i think that he could have gotten a substantial amount of report. we will never know. >> but if you look at the things that were going on in the deal struck, you still would have had an open question that the weapons are not secure and now they are on a pathway.
i don't think it is a well thought out strategy. a was a low-key strategy. but have they done that, i generally was supportive of the proposal and limited as it was, the main point in my piece is the inherent risk at that time. the assumption, for instance, that it would have a value on the regime i think is one that needed to be questioned by the analysts because of the use them only once as we know from the support recently many more than once, this could have produced much more of an incentive. so i would say that for all of the zigzag it was a messy period. the united states, israel, everybody is happy the weapons are now on what seems to be a tough way for the elimination and secure, and that is a major if anything the conflict is still raging. a saw the seems stronger but the securing of the chemical weapons we shouldn't undermine sort of
what an important accomplishment was. >> let me underline that accomplishment. [laughter] i don't think that assad is giving up his chemical weapons. i think he's giving up a portion. i don't believe it is 10%, i don't know. it is and sensible from the assad point of view to give up 70% more to do it. the weapons that we are taking and destroying our the weapons that the regime has identified. the price paid is there used to be a policy of getting rid of assad and now seems to be our partner and you don't hear anybody saying any more assad must go to get people close to the administration say welcoming you know, assad me not be as bad as the alternative. the diplomat was dead wrong on
syria. >> you said we had a policy of getting rid of assad and i would say we had the stated policy. >> in the third row the gentlemen. >> thank you very much for putting together the excellent panel. with the iraqi embassy it is so good to see a discussion on saudi arabia like this i want to pick up some of the things that you mentioned. a 70% of the population it's not a good idea to have the metal by 30%. but it may make a strong argument that they are sending troops to maintain such a minority and they are also 70% of the different regime and also the iraqi scum of the saudis and
more than anyone else to bring back 17% of the minority roles. by the way, the counter arguments can be also made the opposite way for the iranians. so, the minority would have such a of word regime being equal is not such a bad idea and it depends on whose minority it is. but the other point that i want to take on which is i think more consequential is the idea that it is the saudi problem is more of a shiite state in iran than an american problem from the regime. so even if they were to change, this conflict between the iranians and the saudis from the perspective of those that live in the shadow of this conflict that has been constructive whether it is lebanon, syria, iraq, and the list goes on it is
almost a function of a saudi iranian conflict that they would always be having this problem to be aware what this take the stability of the region i would like to ask and also, brian your work is well known. >> just a quick answer. on the minority side, i agree with you. it seems to me that the situation is quite unstable. just as the situation in syria where you have -- you can debate the numbers but clearly the minority ruling majority and the minority doesn't like it or want it and put up with it anymore, so the problem is that the governments have not responded
by saying let's negotiate a better dispensation. i agree with the second part that it's a state in iran and it isn't an american problem. in long run let me try to cheer you up. once upon a time the united states had a strong alliance with the kingdom of saudi arabia and a strong alliance we were kind of able to meet the islamic republic falls, which i hope and pray, then we will have a good relationship with a follow-on government presumably a space regime and maybe we can go back to the days when the united states was able as the strongest military power in the region to be a buffer between saudi arabia and iran and try to help maneuver the relationship between them. the doctrine to be certain a
plant was the sheriff in the region and i'm not talking about that. i think the united states could be in the position to do that once we achieve a decent relationship and that cannot happen as long as the islamic republic. >> if i could begin, and direct it to iraq because we haven't talked as much about it in mind on view as you read my papers through the years and it is quite clear and this is where we strongly disagree as well as many in the audience i thought the iraq war was a mistake. i wasn't a fan of saddam hussein and all the mistakes after. in 2005, a 2006 and 2007i wrote papers that some say shaped where we had gone untreated i was in favor of the strategic redeployment in those arguments. if you look up the papers
especially in 2007 a doctor at the need for the continued robust engagements with iraq and that was understandable that the iraqi government at the end of the bush administration demanded a hard deadline because there was a serenity with, and i find it interesting that they are now going to afghanistan and giving a device to their government there. but i understood it and my clinical analysis again was that looking at the trends inside of iraq just doesn't seem at hannibal. but the other agreement, the strategic framework agreement, which again seems bureaucratic i think it cuts to this issue of this question of what with the u.s. strategy due to be the strategic agreement had not only security cooperation and house, not had. we shouldn't talk about it in the past tense because it is still a living document on paper. it had all blanks of the sort of cultural diplomatic economic cooperation and the absence of
follow-through this is in part because of the in attention at the top i think in the administration's but also because the fundamental bureaucratic problems in some of these agencies also because of problems inside of iraq. i stated in the context as a discussion because again i was against the war but then i'm a pragmatist. i went in and i worked on the ground for a bit. to do what you can with what you've got and i think that to this day it is a missed opportunity and they have the missed potential as the problems they face of terrorism to serve in the future as a bridge in the region but i would criticize the government for not filling up sufficiently on these tools of bilateral land engagement and i also say the u.s. is a great deal at fault. this is a missed opportunity to take a sad song and make it better. >> there is a gentleman in the
fifth row and then the gentleman in the second row to lead >> i am a student so basically the u.s., saudi arabia and iran -- my question is what have there be a way that the decision between the two could be east even iran as it is right now and saudi arabia but as it is right now is there a way that it could be eased and if so, what will the u.s. have to play? >> i think the only way they can be used the long run as if there's a fundamental change which i think the conditions are present for at the society level if you look at the strategic paradigm of the leaders and the saudi leaders, they're looks to be or seems to be a fundamental incompatibility could have diplomatic meetings but if you look at the level there's
nothing inherent that should lead to an end of this again seems soft or especially ten years after the freedom agenda incomplete and nobody can do anything about it but the society's i think are going to evolves and when you talk to the ordinary iranians or saudis, there is nothing inherently that should make them at odds and that's why i think right now it doesn't seem like -- and right here a little bit eliot mentioned we tend to have the states together but i wouldn't -- there's a serious divergence that is made obvious and they have a different view than the saudis and it comes to iran they have their own problems not just about the nuclear agreement but business interests that were considerable the bush ad frustration and obama administration continue to work through so my main point i think the general question leads to a
somewhat general answer that in the short run i don't see the opportunity for cooperation but no longer run of the societies evolve in the way that i think it's difficult to predict that in the trajectory toward a more progressive and open and inclusive view there is more opportunity for them to cooperate. >> the gentleman in the second row. >> i'm just an ordinary citizen who has observed that the media and the analysts have characterized the administration's policies anything but positive suva question to you is if you could wave a magic wands and establish u.s. policy in the region, with the policy be and how would you execute it? >> in 25 words or less.
>> we have been trying to focus on that issue especially regarding saudi arabia. maybe it doesn't make sense. >> this is a big generalization that people see the united states as a declining power in the region. some people like it and he that i think it characterizes most people in the region israeli, arab. and to me the fundamental change that is needed in the policy today is to change that. that is to make it clear not only do the maintain the basis, but that we are going to use our power. i think it is hard to do that without changing the policy in syria because that is the place where the struggle was most direct right now. but that would be the largest
change that if i would make in the short run. in the long run there's a deep question about how the united states relates to changing societies and governments and particularly the arab world. i share the view that there is a criticism of president obama fulfilling them as completely wrong and completely unjustified but there is a very big question of how do you relate to societies that on the spectrum are pretty far over towards the gun-free will though they may be in the united states. we have to work that out in the next 25 to 50 years. but right now, 2014, if you want to try to prove to people in the region that the united states is not a power that is receiving, you can't do that without having a different syria policy.
>> let me -- as an outside analyst, ic the first job to be a constructive critic of the present policy is and i think that in my discussions i let my criticisms get ahead of what are the keys and policies in the obama administration and start from there. but to say this is what i would do differently. i would first say that if -- i would characterize it as pragmatic sort of given the realities of the complexity of the situation. to my taste it leans back to the overall position a little bit too much and we should lean and of little bit more. i think the fundamentals of what i think is you could say it is a strategy that to number one priority is clearly from secretary kerry's time in office, but the president is solidly backing him are attempting some sort of a deal with iran on the nuclear issue, and then second, attempting to advance the palestinian negotiations which is something of the successive administrations have done whether they will succeed or not i think everybody is clear about
the challenges and the palestinians and about the security concerns. those are two pillars to you can criticize the that is an important strategy. but i happen to believe that those priorities are important one. it is a strand that is consistent with the bush administration and a sharp focus on the counterterrorism in places like them in and around the world. again i would highlight and this is one place we need to think more clearly the crisis and libya that has fallen off the map. the part that is missing from the policy not only in this administration, but the bush administration i would say the clinton administration and how do we use the tools of our not, diplomacy and economic statecraft because our military is strong.
i think the footprint and we may disagree with the u.s. is leading or not i do not see it leading in the region. how do we help ourselves in terms of building partnerships with these countries that have this job crisis it talks about and it and capfuls in this case of smart power that is used in the first administration. but i happen to believe that we undervalue those components of u.s. power and we actually don't know how to bring them to bear in. back on the point of iraq and what i was trying to say on the strategic framework agreement of those remarkable powers the matter with the rise looks like in india and things like that, when you look we are still very strong and people look to us as a place to invest and also to get investment from. those tools are just underutilized in the least. that i think is a big space combined and links up with the need for the government reform, democracy and things like this
to the broad point of after 30 years of the u.s. investing so much and so much in terms of the security footprint, and i was glad we did that it still seems incomplete and the region is fraught with all these problems and then it was we build alliances with systems themselves that were not economically or politically sustainable or responsive to the demographic social and political trends. so that is the thing that i would, you know, the last thing i would say is that it seems like an academic case that after the last decade of the engagement in the middle east, the pessimism that exists among the democrats and republicans politically among the american public educating them that if we cannot have the money we could do a marshaling plan and work with other partners. what life year is that nobody cares to be a i fear that those of us to get paid to write on this stuff and we are a smaller community in terms of who is
paying attention and we squandered the opportunity a little bit after 9/11 and i hope that we can build it back because i think our leadership could be important to build those tools up more. i'm going to ask the final question and you have about four minutes left on the left. we spoke about how the 70's are concerned that they no longer have a go to guy in washington. i guess i would ask both of you to imagine that you are the one to go to in washington. what do you tell them. what do you tell them that you believe the united states needs to do. to make the relationship of the year and four functional it may or may not be right now. actually, brian i would ask you to start. >> i would have topped agendas
and if we are going into the next year, these requests for the with p5+2 i don't think our practical but their must be ways to say this is what we are trying to do because again i think if you take a look at where the u.s. position is and where here on is it seems difficult to bridge. so informing them of what i saw on the trips to the gulf as a hyperbolic concerned and even getting some questions of where is the secret about the fighting in syria and it's easy enough through the process if not getting into all of the details but saying on the front we are trying this but we are still here with the security footprint. second, assessing who is doing what on the ground. it not only planning for geneva and again i'm skeptical that it
will succeed but you need a sense of the game and the balance of power on the ground. i wouldn't leave that. egypt is the largest country in the middle east and the most recent report studied on this and again we have worked on this quite a lot and we may have tactical differences, but i think the fight is the struggle for egypt moving in a direction that is very worrisome. i would keep that on the agenda and having them be more constructive way. on all fronts it may be taking some lessons learned in the last ten years because the saudis do recognize that simply continuing the subsidies regime on energy that you have in the population, continuing in terms of political reform are not likely to sustain your own position that in some songs of a pragmatic the elevation of the democracy at the human rights agenda in a way that isn't counterproductive, i
would have as a part of that discussion probably more private, but maybe the most egregious cases very public calling them out but in a way that it says it in their self-interest that we believe it is in your own self-interest we want to build a partnership because we've had a partnership for a while but the main point i would say again is that the most solid partnerships that we have are not only with those countries that we share strategic interest, but also have a great overlapping value as well and i think that is a potential in saudi arabia that is there what it means a considerable amount of work. >> i don't disagree with any of that. that is why i would add that i think that we should be talking to them more effectively about the question of support for extremism. this is very dangerous and it's kind be dangerous for them and we should have learned that lesson already.
to some extent, the government has and i think it is more careful in asia for example to some extent in africa in the way the government money is spent but there is no at least i don't enjoy the effort to control the vast amount of private money that is going into some of the worst groups in the world when so i would want to have that conversation with them. and then we come back to something bryan said, and we were in agreement and that is the nature of the saudi society and the challenge they face which if you look at from the human-rights point of view words you can look at it from the point of view from the royal family which is going to be an increasingly unstable situation. and they have not effectively dealt with it. for example, the educational system and you have one or two experiments like the king abdullah in the university science technology which is great for the people let go
there because a limited impact on the rest. and the thing that worries me is that we ought to have this conversation but we are giving it to go back to something that i said at the beginning we are doing it at a time of potential instability over the succession in saudi arabia. so i don't know if that probably limits our ability even now to have this influence us something we have been trying to do over the last decades and it may be that we are not going to have another good chance to do it unless the succession is over and you have someone who might be the king for ten or 20 more years. that is a worrisome diagnosis but it may be true. >> i believe that will conclude the panel. i want to thank ryan and eliot and the hudson institute and
women have made, get ready for the lecture about the world is overwhelmingly run by men. and i'm not sure how well that is going. [laughter] >> it will escalate dizzies -- >> climate change. you know -- >> greg lock in washington. >> they have made great progress from the generation my mother was until now but it's still true that they run every industry and every government and every country in the world. and so that means that when the decisions are made that most impact the world of the voices are not equally heard and that is true in the boardroom and the meeting and the town hall so i wrote in to address the issue openly to talk openly about the stagnation to the advice of
women and men who want to do their part to change its. >> the rise we now have the secular norms that govern our acceptance or rejection of the ways in which the god or goddess and can speak to people and what impact that has. so you have david saying that he has a special insight into the bible and that in these insights they help the other members of the community understand
particularly the book of revelations better and that they are living in the end times in the way. that by itself doesn't seem to be a problem, but when it leads to other elements, then fell law enforcement concerns as well as the popular press is concerned, then suddenly this idea of somebody listening to god and having to do things that seem to be at the end of the national norms, that is dangerous and that needs to be policed with control.
>> i think it is the ljungqvist form of media that is left but the conversations unprecedented only sees been does. you and charlie rose never read books the same way that i read books to talk to the author seriously and it is dealing with when they have their book read. they know what they're talking about with page notes and it is so he rewording to them that i get the satisfaction when an offer access to me and is complemented that is the best interview i've had on this book tour and loved the interview on that things that matter as the collection of essays that are autobiographical. that makes my day. it is an abundance of time and i can do so many different things. >> more with talk-show host hewitt. senators return to washington for legislative business monday, january 6.
the senate will vote on confirmation for janet yellen the u.s. and the european union are negotiating a free trade agreement, a third round of talks closed last weekend the chief u.s. negotiator spoke with reporters about how the talks are going. >> and good morning everyone. thank you for being here.
this is the closing briefing for the third round of the transatlantic trade investment negotiation. i would like to introduce. we would ask that you limit your questions to one per outlet so everyone has a chance to answer questions and that would limit your follow-up questions to that i will open up the floor to dan mullaney now. >> thank you very much, anne. good morning, everybody for joining us as we've report on the third round of the transatlantic trade investment partnership negotiations or ttip. we are approaching the end of our third and final round for 2013 of these negotiations so it is a good time to review where we are.
we begin the negotiations until july with a weeklong set of negotiations within a few weeks of the administration having completed its consultations with congress. and within a few weeks of the commission having received its mandate from the council. we had a week-long set of negotiations and we had 24 different negotiating groups discussing the wide range of areas that we would anticipate would be part of a comprehensive trade and investment agreement. each of their groups compared their approaches to each of the different areas and looks for a areas of convergence and identified the areas of divergence and made plans to the second round pity the the second round happened in brussels. at that stage the negotiated groups continued discussing their ideas and they began to talk about specific a
negotiating proposals. during the third round of this week, the negotiating groups had been meeting again on virtually all of the areas we would anticipate would be covered in the ttip. these areas include market access for the industrial and agricultural products and of course the rules of origin. we of the regulatory standards group, which focused on the technical regulations, sanitary regulations, primarily in the area of food safety and particular sectors. we also discussed investment and services including in the areas of telecommunications, electronic commerce, cross border services and financial services and government procurement, intellectual property, labor, environment, state-owned enterprises, one of the issues of global concern.
small and medium-sized enterprises, localization, trade, competition, of raw materials and energy is can the legal and institutional such as dispute settlements. so in each of these areas the negotiating groups for fleshing out the year earlier proposals and discussing the texts and other proposals. in several of the group's the teams were also continuing their discussions on what we call the architecture of the agreement that is how these issues are addressing any of these negotiating groups would be reflected in the text of the agreement and how they would work together and how the different areas would relate to each other. in the regulatory area in particular, we are continuing our discussions over the various ways to facilitate the development of regulations on both sides of the atlantic, but both to achieve the regulatory objective, for instance, the chosin level of environmental consumer protection and health
but also minimize or eliminate the cost and the barriers to trade investment that are caused by unnecessary divergences in the regulations. we take the regulatory work across the several intertwined areas between horizontal or crosscutting approaches. the standards based activities such as mechanisms or procedures that promote transparency with participation and accountability as well as more specific discussions of the ranges of the tools available to produce the necessary cost differences and particular sectors. another source of the disagreement will be elimination of tariff barriers to trade. now that the administration has received its advice from the international trade commission on the impact of the tariff eliminations, we are moving in the third round to discuss the
tariff elimination. we do anticipate however that this work will need to take place, continue to take place in the fourth round after our exchange of the offers next year. during this round we also pursued and we will continue pursuing other important areas of market access including government procurement and services. finally, in this third round as in the previous rounds the input that we received from a wide range of stakeholders. as you know the united states and union had the joint objectives in a joint report of high level working groups for jobs and growth in february. the administration further described its objectives in the letter that it tends to the u.s. congress in march that letter is available on the web site. and then we have held
innumerable meetings with a wide range of stakeholders to receive input on those objectives and to exchange views. most recently during the course of the around the five negotiators took time to share information and hear a few points of more than 350 different stakeholders from what other organizations, labor, business and academia this includes a three hour session that consisted of 50, more than 50 policy presentations that covered a range of issues including the consumer and food safety innovation and agriculture. the offer this to calder's an opportunity to provide the negotiators valuable feedback on the negotiating objectives for ttip as we proceed with the talks. following that session, we then conducted a briefing of a large
group of stockholders for about an hour and after. i think i can speak for the negotiators on both sides when i say that we found this exchange with stakeholders through our ability to receive and change views to be extremely important to determine the specifics. the increase growth and jobs and increase the international competitiveness and that has a solid stakeholder support this is the last round of 2013. in early 2014, we anticipate taking stock at a political level of what we have accomplished so far this year and the planning on where we need to move this negotiation in the year 2014 this assessment will depend on the further negotiation in january based on
the work this week which as i mentioned is still on going until the end of the day-to-day. thank you very much for the attention and i will turn the floor over now and we would be happy to answer any questions. good morning to everyone we remain on track for an ambitious agreement would boost our economy. both for europeans and that how important this is if the. we would like to see discovered in the comprehensive agreement
on the range of important issues such as competition policy to the related aspects of energy and through the stable development including the labor and environment and of course the other. what i would like to highlight that would be critical that the achieved the enterprises and that in the specific sector it is related issues. we anticipate the political area here without help the u.s. guidance on the we forward. it is very clear for us that this is not a routine trade negotiation. these are strong support from all the stakeholders. eight cannot be done.
we saw the direct involvement from the stakeholders. this is because of the major we would set out to do and we should be on the national agenda. there are three components of the negotiations in particular that require the development for the substantial process in the consultation. we have engaged this week and with a very broad range of stakeholders, we dedicated a full day to have input from the stakeholder presentations and engaging in these meetings with an opportunity while i was in washington to have a meeting with a broad range of the stake holders represented in the
negotiations in the trade unions and their very interesting. and i'd also like to take this opportunity to mention the european commission to the civil society down look which would be spoken to the stakeholders. we would continue to have transparency and we are determined to get these right. on the issues more generally i would like to reiterate and i think i speak for both sides that we are committed for ensuring that these negotiations wouldn't be about luring more compromising of the highest standards of consumer environment or other of legitimate predictions and each side would obviously maintain.
it wouldn't be about the deal deregulation agenda. if the negotiators are very pleased to announce that we would be organizing in the next negotiating round that would take place in brussels. we would be all too reiterate back to you. >> happy to answer any of your questions. >> a question on the transparency issue. the u.s. had a stakeholder negotiator where we were hearing presentations from the stakeholders and press negotiators mingling together but in the second round of the commission chose not to do that and now i'm wondering why the
commission isn't allowing that and if there is a plan for the change with the commission be doing something similar with the stakeholders? >> as i said we are always ready to innovate in the second round which as you know was organizing the circumstances to have as much time for the interactive discussion. by the way i'm very pleased that they have organized to the discussion because we believe that that is very important. we are still researching about the discussion with the state cultures and we will see what is the best way to organize that in the next round. i can assure you that there is a continuing process of dialogue that we are receiving input on
all the aspects of the negotiations and we also have the opportunity to engage in these discussions so that will reflect the best way to organize these not only in the negotiating round but also throughout. >> i should plan now that we did have an exchange with 400 stakeholders over the course of two and a half hours or a little after and i think that we pretty much exhausted the number of questions in the room so there was a high level of interaction with a large number of stakeholders. >> [inaudible] you mentioned the last round
[inaudible] what are you focusing on a canal and what do you begin to negotiate on either in-house or in the next coming round. >> i think in the negotiating round we have been discussing in number in exploring the possibility of having the specifics. we have had had discussions on sectors like the automobiles and pharmaceuticals and medical devices, cosmetics, textiles, chemicals. i hope i'm not forgetting but i am sure he would be able to correct me and i wish these are
over the architecture of the agreement and how we reflect the works that we do in the sectoral component physically and altered the degree when a still to be determined. we're continuing to work forward. there's not at this point a close list of factors are sectoral issues. >> let me emphasize from the point come in no way we are looking into the possibility of looking into the opportunities to do sectoral work. they look into others.
>> aside from the fact there is, is the overall architecture decided -- in other words, would it be accurate to report to decide on the scope of the agreement and to what extent would not reflect the highest level working report. >> i would say the overall scope and the overall set of object is remains the same. as i mentioned, this week we did have virtually all of the negotiating groups meeting on the range of issues. the scope of what we hope to achieve his reflect that in the working group report and in our letter to congress. it still remains valid. >> obviously we see in the
high-level working is very much part of our discussions. this is one we need to take. this remains open at night tank we determined indeed. >> context as we have a two-part question. what was the nature of discussion at what stage are you in terms of perhaps the rule of origins. have you exchanged offers still early in the process? second like him at the meeting, embraced an ongoing issue. e.u. opposed a 20% tariff on
u.s. senate exports on that dies from the dead eto case. are there after his to address this issue and how close are you to resolving a? thank you. >> first, the discussion is taking place on textiles have been mostly focusing on issues in the factor. we haven't gone to the stage in which we have a change and one of the things we are aiming to do on our sectors. is much more the aspects of really starting to discuss the pacific -- specific rules. asked at a specific measure referred to, we have not discussed the issue.
we've been focusing on what we should do. it's not an issue we have discussed in this context. >> yeah, i think it is fair to say on textiles of market access, rules of origin, we do have conversations. those will be in continuing into 22014 as we move towards the offers. >> just a follow-up question about the specific factors are focusing on. it will remain included on the short list. what about including energy, specifically ask for it in the negotiations. >> i think it is important that you bear in mind that on the
issue of factors, a significant range of issues have been raised where it has been suggested that while fully maintaining the level of protection in the european union and in the united states, it is possible to achieve significant regulatory cost savings. in some cases there's a question question about the possibility of mutual recognition of technical regulations being discussed in the current sector. in other areas there's a question of mutual recognition of inspections of manufacturing being discussed in the pharmaceutical, medical devices on the cosmetic sector. the question of better coordinating, for instance, the different type of tools we depend very much on the factor in why you need to have the
regulators looking into these issues and all opportunities and moving forward on the issue as we progress these negotiations next year. i think was worth spending time during this initial set are scum analyzing the use and revealing an engaging amongst regulators where we are negotiators to see how we can achieve these goals without in any way compromising the levels of protection. we certainly have an injurious we hope that would be clear to guarantee the u.s. resources. this could be of great importance. of course we are looking into the issue not only from the point of view, but from the system respect it because we
believe both the european union and the united states have a common interest in promoting open, transparent investment. we are still discussing what is the best way to consider that objective? >> on the oppression of factors, it is true that each of the different factors that were lucky not present their own issues, their own challenges. and in a way, they reflect the broad range of tools that we have at our disposal to reduce cost. in certain areas and it may well be if the two sides had the same level of protection, the different regulatory ways of achieving not, that there may be opportunities for equivalence or mutual recognition. in other areas, the focus may be
more on whether you can have recognition of conformity assessment results and arrive at a point where product can be tested just once and not twice before it comes into the market. in other areas, it might be a question of sharing information and analyses of product. so each sector can present its own issues that are above and beyond the issues identified. it is difficult to say which sector is further along, which is further behind. they are all moving forward and all the parties are engaged in trying to find solutions to reduce cost due to divergences. on the gas export issue, you know, in the united states we
have a regime where exporters of natural gas are deemed in the public interest through trading partner with whom we have a free trade agreement that provides for national treatment in the national gas area. other partners have a presumption that exports are in the national interest. so i think this negotiation can offer opportunities for increased trade. but of course ultimately, whether trade actually takes place is going to depend on the customers and the pricing and the private sector actors. >> there were issues raised by some of the data, digital
democracy group about whether or not data privacy was going to be part of the ttip. many of the groups opposed any inclusion of data privacy in the final agreement because there were processes on both sides at the up and take now to address the issue of data privacy in the wake of the nsa surveillance scandal. thank you. >> i think that you know our point of view on these is hard to be clear on many occasions. data privacy is not part of the ttip negotiations. issues and concerns relating to privacy are being discussed between the united states and the european union. the ttip is not divided for
these issues. this doesn't mean of course that we are not ready to talk to ttip on issues like electronic commerce. it's a very important component of the modern economy. first, any discussion is based on the premise that whenever it comes to personal data of european citizens, that will definitely be transferred and compliant with european union san integration. it is an issue of fundamental it ties the night hank are unknown. >> companies on both sides of the atlantic have built up one of the most robust data transfer networks in the world. is that not work that forms the back bone and what we have in
the economy and the $3 billion a day in goods and services that occur every day. ttip should offer opportunities to facilitate and support those flows. we are confident as we work through this process that we can accomplish the result. the privacy regimes that exist on both sides of the atlantic. >> you were talking about the stakeholder meetings. they are mostly from an environmentalist, labor groups, consumer advocacy groups who mention the stakeholder meeting are no substitute and is releasing a draft text after each round. why not release the full text of
the public so stakeholders know what's being negotiated. >> we've been working a lot through the stakeholder engagement sessions and meetings through a written letter to the congress entry reports to maximize the level of transparency to describe precisely what we are doing to engage one-on-one and in many instances with the group of stakeholders to try to make as clear as possible what it is we are doing to get their viewpoints. in our view, the value of transparency is paramount in our mind. we do need, however, to give the negotiators space to have frank conversations to negotiate in
case of our negotiators in the u.s. of the national interest. so what we think are achieving is a balance between giving those negotiators the space that they need to be frank, have frank conversations to negotiate, but also communicate as fully as we are able, the object is and what we are doing and to receive input from the stakeholders. >> this is an issue where it's very important to strike a balance spray. it is a trade negotiation were each party is its own proposals that you have the space to see how you can accommodate the views of the party and progressively coming to a common tax. this is throughout the negotiations and represents a
common european un-american view. if you're going to be releasing those tax inevitably, the possibilities for both sides to work together to compromise would be much more difficult. i don't think anyone would want that to happen. at the same time, it is important for us to communicate as clearly as possible to our citizens. so what is the position that each one has taken in the negotiation and that's the reason why the european union has made an effort to to make as many papers public where we indicate the different negotiating areas. we should have the objectives that we are pursuing in the negotiations. the doors are always open with any issues, which are a matter of concern and you certainly can see the discussion that i've
made a particular engagement in the discussion to strength the positions and to understand the views of the stakeholder. i think this is the balance, which needs to be maintained. we will continue to reflect esparza negotiations progress is how to ensure that these elements of maintaining the balance. we should ensure efficiency of the negotiating process and accountability. of course it has become a staple and everyone will see the results and there will be time before the final position is taking our legislators to ratify and know what is the content. >> russia say, we are making a huge effort to implement deep
transparency in this negotiation. but of course, we can always improve. we can always do better. we appreciate the views we hear from stakeholders about what we can do to improve the process. [inaudible] >> there is a growing concern that we will give the power to directly challenge in europe. do you rank this is what the legislator makes? >> all views are as legitimate. all of these need to be respect they been discussed. i refer to just previously the certain issues were concerns
have been expressed by different european unions, but also the united states. we discuss these concerns and what you are saying. i think it is important to be clear. this is invented in these negotiations. there are 1400 investment treaties, which have been concluded by the member states of the european union, all of which include this mechanism. in nine of our member states already have those cities in the united states. now, that is the common reality. we are discussing the content of these negotiations is what is impossible to include precisely to ensure it cannot be
successfully challenged. you need to strike the right balance and our need to ensure that the european union will balance. by the way, many times at first because some cases have been launched with the nine treaties between members in the united states are more than 20 years. there has not been a single unsuccessfully challenged. they are regulatory missions. we are expanding what were going
to do it the european model, which is to ensure that the investment protection are defined because the least of the interpretations. we are looking to more precise recognition to the protection and also into how to enforce the guarantees of the process. for instance, transparency to avoid anti-terror a number of elements, which ensure the process that guarantees they are necessary. again, in our negotiations, we have made a number of important innovations in this area.
the current investment of the member states have been our discussions will be able to look into this and even do better. >> i don't have a lot to add but to say we do understand the concern and we do appreciate those concerns having been communicated to us. but for us, it is a key goal of our negotiations ttip will be of course to protect a right of governments to regulate the public interest that would simply never negotiate away. at the same time, we do want in these negotiations to pursue strong investor protection so that from our perspective american companies investing abroad should have the same access to fair and equitable treatment as they receive in the united states. i mean, that system does include a variety of mechanisms including state to state dispute
mechanisms and investors stay mechanisms to ensure fair and equal treatment. this is an approach we have taken in all of our fta is an approach we have evolved in the course of over a decade of studying our investment provisions for mercy main input on those provisions and striking the right balance to ensure that governments continue to have the ability to regulate in the public interest. >> hi, i'm hillary with -- [inaudible] -- television. what is the hope for pushing things through in 2014? we have midterm elections upon us and we need a tpa to be issued to the president. >> focusing on your last
question. you know, it's very important to us to bring home international agreements or tpa. we are working with congress to get that authority. it helps us define our objectives of congress. it lays out the processes and procedures many to follow through one of these agreements in place. it is important, so we are hopeful we will be getting that authority in the near term. in terms of the overall timetable, as i suggested. within a couple weeks, pretty much as quickly as one code, we have a second round and we worked very closely, intersessional at the turnaround to make progress but a tree in the round and second and third round. we are committed to moving very quickly on this. but the main important thing for
us is to get it right. so we are working hard, quickly, but we don't want to sacrifice the ultimate quality of the agreement. at the end of the day, we should have point to an agreement that does increase growth jobs and international competitiveness. we are going to move quickly and get it ready. [inaudible] >> if i turn this around a little bit and nasty sounding negative, has there been any discussion between used to repeat our bosses on what may not be possible in disagreement so when you get to the final hurdle, it's not as high as it looks now. have you discussed it?
is there an agreement of what is bridge too far? >> there are continuous discussions about the different elements of the agreement. i don't think we are discussing what the final will be. >> as i noted, we are proceeding in this round as in previous rounds with a wide range of topics that we would hope to be included in a comprehensive investment agreement. just a quick comment from the question. i was a little views on why you are briefing the stakeholders that followed their view that was close if you are trying to increase transparency. the real question is more about the timetable for deciding what
you are going to decide to which you expect to decide on the fact is to reach an agreement on what you're going to deal with and from that point, how much longer would you expect to go can you give us the outside and what your timetable is on the elements? >> on the latter question, we have a timetable for making decisions. we are trying to move forward in that progress and all of the areas as much as we can. there will come a time i suspect we will be figuring out how we are going to wrap up issues, but that time is not yet. on your first question, we had the three-hour session with all
the stakeholders and negotiators and lots of members of the press. so for that three-hour session, where there was a direct negotiator, stakeholder interaction, the negotiators they are and the stakeholders, our feeling was the briefing that we gave to the stakeholders on wednesday afternoon was their opportunity to pose questions to us and have an exchange and the opportunity for the press to have a briefing and questions than answers would come at the end of the round when we had completed the round during this hour. [inaudible] >> dissections been mentioned in in the previous question are those that is where both sides can have the possibility of a
specific regulatory commitment. of course in these negotiations for all sectors. we are looking into many issues. but there are set or is where we are looking completely, were as possible to achieve the regulatory commitment to complement what is being done. we have started to work cooperatively to regulate both sides. within each of the sectors, is the least of the issues we are looking into. as we progress in the discussion, we will see how fast it is possible to go after each of these issues in each of those factors. that is important to bear in mind. >> this is adam from "politico."
i do question, the commission this week for these drafted regulations on products from cloned animals. can you tell us to what extent that issue will find its way to the trade agreements into the trade negotiations and can you elaborate more on the food safety issues that you discussed? >> well, on a specific proposal at the commission has presented that no, there's not an issue which we are discussing in these negotiations. of course we were always ready to answer questions about our initiatives. but it's not an issue we are discussing in these negotiations. food safety are good discussions between the two teams. we are looking into what could be the elements of an vicious